The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in the United States has published a consensus report which recommends against the use of blockchain technologies for voting.
Titled “Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy” the report stated that while the notion of using blockchain as an immutable ballot box may seem promising, the technology does little to solve the fundamental security issues of elections.
It goes on to warn that a blockchain may even introduce additional security vulnerabilities into the system.
“In particular, if malware on a voter’s device alters a vote before it ever reaches a blockchain, the immutability of the blockchain fails to provide the desired integrity, and the voter may never know of the alteration.”
This study’s panel included professors from Stanford, Princeton, and MIT, as well as a senior cryptographer.
The report also highlighted several other pitfalls with blockchain technology in the context of voting.
It also concluded that blockchains do not necessarily provide the anonymity they proclaim to offer, and do not offer ballot secrecy.
Rather than advanced technological measures, the report suggested that all federal, state, and local elections should be conducted on paper ballots by 2020.